Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Today's quote: I'll show you how to do something once, I'll help you if you mess up twice, but the third time you're on your own. 'Cause that's how it is in the world.

Am I the only one who's sad that LostInIowa doesn't allow comments on his blog anymore? What I don't understand is why people say disallowing comments is such a bad thing. The short-lived IA Jurist went even further than that, and dismantled his entire blog. What I find ironic about that is that he'd said early on that he would never erase or get rid of comments, but in my opinion he has done exactly that in the most final way possible.

So why is it so surprising that comments are disallowed? Why on earth would you let people say such mean things to you when you could easily avoid that? The only thing is, now no one can comment, including those of us who would like to try to take a fair view of things. Is he living in his "bubble" as one person put it? Maybe, maybe not. He knows people are pissed. Constructive criticism or an honest opinion is one thing. But people didn't stop there, and instead resorted to some nasty name-calling. I think many of us might also have disallowed comments under the circumstances. Sure, maybe what he said was not the best thing to have articulated, but I really don't think that calling someone an asshole or a douchebag is the way to get at the heart of the matter. Is it just me, or is there a chilling effect here?

Something that came up in conversation with my friend was the fact that people think of you as the person who writes the blog. They never think that sometimes it's more of a persona, and may represent an element of a person but is not truly completely representative of everything that person is. Maybe people should try to remember that passing such judgment someone's character happens in a context where the judge does not have all of the information about a person to hand, and so is not really making an informed decision. Just a thought.

I came to law school thinking that here would be a wide-ranging collection of people who would at least be reasonably intelligent and open-minded. Instead, I find some of the worst examples of intolerance I have ever seen in my life. Freedom of expression is such a precious right. But when people jump down your throat for things you say, this can create an inhibition on what that person feels free to express. If someone finds something a blogger has written about reprehensible, why not approach the subject in a dignified manner as befitting a law-student-soon-to-be-professional? Or if it's unresolvable, just don't read the blog. It's not like the blog is confronting a person wherever someone goes. Just don't read it.

People say that us bloggers are "rabid" attack dogs who spew their vicious insults at people. Well, I really think the finger-pointing goes both ways. Some of the nastiest insults I saw on blogs were the ones left by the commentors. Those of you who say that we are nasty/juvenile people spewing our immature vitriol into the mainstream? Maybe you should hold up a mirror, because most of the responses were no better.

It's very disappointing how little respect we show each other. IA Jurist said something on his blog at one point:

"Law students love to see other law students bleed a little."

What? Sure, we may enjoy seeing each other mildly discomfited occasionally, but not all of us are the social piranhas you make us out to be.